So my dear friend Heather took me out for the day to celebrate my birthday. I’m used to a dinner with my family and the inevitable Facebook posts and maybe a few small gifts, but Heather way outdid herself and set one heck of a precedent. She let me take a lesson on her incredible show horse Rhett. Rhett was imported three years ago from Germany. He can do all three rings, dressage, and eventing. He has the personality of a teddy bear and the caring nature of a grandmother. Let’s just say I’ve drooled over this horse for a long time, so when Heather told me I was riding him, I was more than a little ecstatic.
We took a lesson with the barn’s assistant manager Holly. Heather is dealing with a back injury and I’m still recovering from the ankle, so we really didn’t do much. Most of my ride was figuring out Rhett’s buttons. He’s much more sensitive than I’m used to riding, so he was incredibly responsive, even to my mostly nonexistent muscles. But I was able to trot a fair amount: a whole twenty minutes (with breaks)! It felt wonderful to ride and not just putz about. Rhett’s movements are glorious. He’s such a good boy and he took such good care of me. If I got even a little ahead, he would tell on me and make me work to get my position in place. If I hesitated even a bit, he would sense it and respond accordingly. Let’s just say there’s a reason that horse is worth more than my brother’s graduate school education. Heather encouraged me to do a short canter just to feel it, and I almost said no, but I realized that I might not have the chance to ride him again (because her trainer is very strict). With some strong encouragement, Rhett took me for a nice little canter around the arena. I could see just how lovely his canter should be if he is moving into my hands, but even with me just barely holding contact, it was still a wonderful ride. He’s extremely comfortable and I think he could tell how happy I was to canter.
Heather and I finished our ride with a trail ride around the back portion of the property. I LOVE trail riding. It takes me back to my summer camp days. As fun as it is to train and improve my position and execution and take lessons, sometimes it just feels good to relax and get out of the sandy square. My zebra herd and I had some awesome trail rides in our day. I just wish I had enough horses to take all my horse friends together on a yeehaw trail ride! (Granted, that would be something like twenty-five horses, which would probably be a bit dangerous…)
And how could we not hit up the Dover tent sale? Can’t wait to unveil the new breeches and gloves! Needless to say, Heather treated me to the best birthday celebration I’ve ever had! Thanks again, my love. You should all be so lucky to have someone as generous as Heather. (But find your own. She’s mine.)